3/4/8 Why Resistance is Urgent: Call for International Palestine Tribunals

URGENT CALL FOR INTERNATIONAL PALESTINE TRIBUNALS
In Al-Awda@yahoogroups.com, Yousef Abudayyeh wrote:

Please print and forward widely!

Below is a concise and direct declaration that calls for holding international tribunals for those guilty of the successive campaigns
of terror against the Palestinian people. It is unique in that it is the first international public effort to hold guilty Arab regimes,
Palestinians, Israelis, and US officials fully responsible for the ongoing Zionist crimes. By signing this declaration and by passing it
through as much as possible worldwide, where all signatories are sought and welcomed, we will be initiating the first real steps to
holding war tribunals internationally.

This is also a tangible step to returning Palestine to its international position as a flagship for justice and self-determination. We urge you to actively support thi declaration wherever you are, on every continent. Take it to your protests, ask your organization to sign on, engage everyone about who is responsible, and help build a momentum that will go well beyond protests and temporary reactions into sustained efforts and full accountability.

We look forward to forming international tribunal committees soon after.

Please sign and pass it on. Time is critical!

To sign on to this declaration, please send a message to: PalTribunal@gmail.com.

"We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, regard what is
taking place against the Palestinian people, particularly those of the
Gaza Strip, not only as a war crime but also as a crime against
humanity. While we hold the Zionist Israeli government directly
responsible for these murderous campaigns, we also hold guilty Arab
regimes, including the Palestinian Authority and the office of Mahmud
Abbas, as accessory to these crimes in collaboration with the US
administration. Through this declaration, we are taking the first
steps to begin the process of holding international tribunals for all
those guilty, either directly or as an accessory through their deadly
silence, irrespective of who they are. The unbelievable and seemingly
unending suffering of the Palestinian people requires that those
responsible are forthwith brought to justice under international
criminal law."
Yousef
The Free Palestine Alliance
Please visit http://wewillreturn.blogspot.com

US wants attack on Gaza
By Shmuel Rosner
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/956442.html
WASHINGTON - As the Second Lebanon War raged, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger paid a visit to Major General Dan Harel, who was then army attache in Washington and is now deputy chief of staff. The war had not yet been described as a failure, nor had anyone thought about setting up the Winograd Committee. But Kissinger already had things to say, and he may not have been the only one.
Some Israelis believed that this was the way for someone in the Bush administration to express dissatisfaction with Israel's conducting of the war, by criticizing through an unofficial channel. Kissinger, who is still invited to the White House to advise the president, was a natural candidate for such a task. The Israeli operation in Lebanon had left Kissinger unimpressed, and he made this clear to Harel. Even worse: Kissinger told him that Israel's erratic progress was undermining U.S. interests.
This was also the feeling of most senior U.S. officials after the war. Vice President Dick Cheney was particularly disappointed, since he was one of the leading proponents of American patience toward Israel, calling for time to allow it to complete its military campaign. All those, including President George Bush, who were counting on Israel to teach a definitive lesson to the extremists in the Middle East, were disappointed.
The mysterious Israeli attack in Syria last September and the assassination of Imad Mughniyah in Damascus last week may improve Israel's operational image, but will not completely restore the American confidence in its ability to complete a more ambitious campaign: occupying the Gaza Strip, crushing the military power of Hamas and restoring the Strip to the trained Palestinian forces loyal to Mahmoud Abbas.
This is the only realistic scenario that may bode a better future for the Gaza Strip, and which also aligns with what is relevant to Washington: it is both realistic and meets U.S. aims, namely to avoid dialogue with Hamas and not to weaken Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by rewarding the extremists.

Anyone trying to identify the path along which Israel will proceed toward an operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip must begin by studying the war in Lebanon and the mutual disappointment: The Americans were surprised by the poor operational capabilities of Israel, and the Israelis were shocked by the diplomatic ambush they ran into in the Security Council toward the end of the war. Hopefully the lesson has been learned and Israel and the U.S. will seek to coordinate the effort in Gaza in a better, more realistic fashion.

The Americans have a major complaint about Lebanon, but Israel has an even bigger complaint about Gaza: Had Bush not allowed Abbas to hold elections in the Palestinian Authority with the participation of Hamas, the situation in Gaza would have been different. Both sides will be careful not to repeat the errors of the past. If the operation in the Gaza Strip will begin according to plan and not in a sudden response to a bloody incident, it will not happen soon.

The Americans know that change must occur in the Gaza Strip. "The status quo there, I think, cannot hold," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told a congressional hearing last week. According to the American scenario, what is first required is complete Israeli readiness for a military operation, and also for political allowances. At the Pentagon they are impressed by the way the lessons of the war are being learned by the IDF, and have also began adopting some of them. These include the reinforcement of vehicles in areas where American forces are conducting guerrilla warfare.

However, the Americans will require assurances, more so than in the past, that this will not be an operation that will commence with a promise only to end with an investigation. Like Kissinger said, it undermines American interests.

The Bush administration is wary of yet another victory by the extremists; it has never had faith in the ability of the international community to prevent such victory. Only the most naive among the senior administration officials still toy with the idea of a multinational force that will take over in the Gaza Strip. The lessons from Lebanon have also been learned on this.

What they really want is the forceful takeover of the territory by a bolstered Palestinian Authority. Senior officers of the American army are going back and forth between Washington, Ramallah and Jerusalem, in an effort to draw a picture of the reality on the ground that is more accurate than the one presented by General Keith Dayton to Congress and the Bush administration, on the eve of the fall of the Strip to Hamas.
A broad Israeli operation, with American encouragement, will be able to begin only after the forces of Abbas are trained. But by then, the Americans may have a new president.

Obama: I'm a 'stalwart friend' of Israel, its security is 'sacrosanct' :
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama on Tuesday stressed his "stalwart" support for Israel and his ties to American Jews, during a presidential debate with rival candidate Hillary Clinton.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/958748.html

Hillary Clinton Speech to AIPAC Conference - MAY 24, 2005
http://www.womenspeecharchive.org/women/profile/speech/index.cfm?Profile....

...As all of us know, our future here in this country is intertwined with the future of Israel and the Middle East. Now there is a lot that we could talk about, and obviously much has been discussed. But in the short period that I have been given the honor of addressing you, I want to start by focusing on our deep and lasting bond between the United States and Israel.

Now, these are bonds that are more than shared interests. These are bonds forged in a common struggle for human rights, for democracy, for freedom. These are bonds that predate the creation of the state of Israel, that really predate the creation of the United States because they are rooted in fundamental beliefs and values about the dignity and rights of men and women to live in freedom, free from fear, free from oppression. And there is no doubt that these incredibly strong bonds and values will remain as the lodestar of our relationship with our democratic friend and ally, Israel.

Now, Israel is not only, however, a friend and ally for us, it is a beacon of what democracy can and should mean. It is, after all, a pluralistic democracy. It is, as many of us know from personal experiences, a very dynamic democracy with many points of view, and those are expressed with great frequency and vigor. So if people in the Middle East are not sure what democracy means, let them look to Israel...

...the plan requires approval of the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, who is supposed to await the United States' permission...
Israel considers a U.S-like invasion of Gaza
Thursday February 21, 2008
by Rami Almeghari - IMEMC&Agencies
http://www.imemc.org/article/52975
The Israeli government has reportedly approved a military plan, similar to the U.S invasion of Iraq in 2003, with underway preparations to massively attack Gaza... to diminish the Hamas regime in Gaza, targeting the Hamas leaders and controlling most areas of the Gaza Strip, in a way that dejects momentum of likely international response. At least 10,000 to 20,000 soldiers, backed by warplanes and warships and battle tanks, will be employed in the Gaza invasion, to be deployed at four main access, including the Mediterranean sea side. In addition, the Israeli army will dismember the coastal region into three parts, starting with the Gaza international airport of Rafah city in the south, the Jewish online publication added... Among the possible scenarios of such an offensive, an Israeli army presence on the Gaza-Egypt border line, with a possibility of installing a NATO force into the region, following the Israeli withdrawal. Recently, a number of Israeli ministers have gestured possibility to eliminate the Hamas regime in Gaza, once and for all....
the plan requires approval of the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, who is supposed to await the United States' permission to the proposed invasion of Gaza....

Rice Urges More Mideast Talks, Won't Mention a Cease-Fire
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/04/world/middleeast/04diplo.html?th&emc=t...

US gunboats protecting Israel's Gaza holocaust
Arablinks
...Abdulbari Atwan writes in a front-page editorial in Al-Quds al-Arabi: It appears that the holocaust threatened by the Israeli vice-minister of defence isn't going to be limited to the children of the Gaza Strip, but could well be extended to the Arab region generally. It wasn't a coincidence that the Israeli troop-concentration on the Gaza border coincided with the arrival of the American destroyer USS Cole on the Lebanese coast, along with a variety of warships with helicopters and thousands of marines. This is the war of extermination that America and Israel have been planning... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=41643

Microsoft: "From the depth of our heart -- thanks to The Israeli Defense Forces"
Microsoft and the National Security Agency
http://killinghope.org/aer44.htm

SILENCE IS COMPLICITY: WHY DO WE NOT RESIST U.S. SPONSORED GENOCIDE?

Tens of thousands of Syrians, Arabs march to protest Israeli attacks on Gaza
Tens of thousands of Syrians filled the central square of Damascus Monday to protest ongoing Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip that have killed more than 100 Palestinians, while elsewhere in the region thousands others also demonstrated.
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/03/03/africa/ME-GEN-Syria-Israel-Ara...

A Global Massacre Against Gaza
Adel Samara
source Kanaan Online (thanks to Nadia Hasan for the forward)
http://peacepalestine.blogspot.com/2008/03/adel-samara-global-massacre-a...

... debate on whether Israel will launch a large scale or "limited" aggression against Gaza is pure nonsense... Any "limited" aggression against civilians, by an army with most recent US inventions of war machine and Zionist inhuman behavior, will kill many people. The most important question, however, is somewhere else: What are the reasons and who is really behind this holocaust? The main reason can be summarized as "No Resistance in the Era of Globalization" (NOREG). This should remind us of the fact that US neo-cons regime, western capitalist regimes, and Arab comprador regimes support and encourage Zionists to wipe out Hezbollah as the main force of resistance in this era. That is why, the war of summer 2006, was a precious gift for Arab regimes. But fortunately, the results were deeply disappointing. Since 2006, if one does not mention the holocaust in Iraq, Arab regimes and the Palestinian Authority (PA) stand in the camp of: "No Resistance in the Era of Globalization" NOREG...
Read the full article / Leggi l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=41651

In Their Own Words: A Zionist Holocaust (Shoah) Against the Palestinians.
Haaretz Service and Reuters via Palestinian Pundit
...."The Israel Defense Forces must reoccupy part of the Gaza Strip for an unlimited time and overthrow the Hamas government, the chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee said Friday, in the wake of escalating rocket attacks that peaked Thursday with a direct hit on a home in Ashkelon. "The State of Israel must make a strategic decision to order the IDF to prepare quickly to topple the Hamas terror regime and take over all the areas from which rockets are fired on Israel," MK Tzachi Hanegbi (Kadima) told Israel Radio. He said the IDF should prepare to remain in those areas for years...... Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai went as far as threatening a "shoah," the Hebrew word for holocaust or disaster. The word is generally used to refer to the Nazi Holocaust, but a spokesman for Vilnai said the deputy defense minister used the word in the sense of "disaster," saying "he did not mean to make any allusion to the genocide." "The more Qassam fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, [the Palestinians] will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves," Vilnai told Army Radio on Friday...: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=41571

Israel is planning a full-scale attack on the starved people of Gaza. Will the world and Arabs just watch?
Galal Nassar, Al-Ahram Weekly
...Israel is now thinking of waging a massive military operation in Gaza aimed at destroying the organisational structure of Hamas, its arms depots, and to shock the Gaza population into rallying around President Abbas. All this before the resumption of peace talks with Mahmoud Abbas, for the latter cannot make a deal with Israel stick unless he has the backing of the overwhelming majority of Palestinians.... According to estimates by the Israeli Defence Ministry, a major operation in Gaza may cost Israel anywhere between 100 and 200 soldiers, against a death toll of 1,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians. Extensive damage to property, especially in residential areas, is to be expected. Supporters of military action in Israel think that this would be a small price to pay. What makes an Israeli offensive in Gaza even more likely is that Fatah is giving up on reconciliation with Hamas. Israeli military action that ends the current power struggle is, in Fatah's eyes, a tantalising prospect.

Israeli minister threatens "holocaust"
Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 29 February 2008
...A report on the BBC News website headlined "Israel warns of Gaza 'holocaust'" noted that the word "holocaust" -- shoah in Hebrew -- is "a term rarely used in Israel outside discussions of the Nazi genocide during World War II."
The BBC later reported that "many of Mr. Vilnai's colleagues have quickly distanced themselves from his comments and also tried to downplay them saying he did not mean genocide." An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, Arye Mekel, claimed that Vilnai used the word "in the sense of a disaster or a catastrophe, and not in the sense of a holocaust."

The attempt to limit the damage of Vilnai's comments is not surprising. It was recently revealed how another Israeli official, Major-General Doron Almog, narrowly escaped arrest at London's Heathrow airport in September 2005, in connection with allegations of war crimes committed against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. British police feared a gunfight if they attempted to board the El Al civilian aircraft on which Almog had arrived and on which he hid until he fled the United Kingdom back to Israel as a fugitive from justice.

Incitement to genocide is a punishable crime under the international Genocide Convention, adopted in 1948 after the Nazi holocaust.

"The 8 Stages of Genocide," written by Greg Stanton, President of Genocide Watch, sets out a number of warning signs of an impending genocide, which include "dehumanization" of potential victim groups and preparation, whereby potential victims "are often segregated into ghettoes, deported into concentration camps, or confined to a famine-struck region and starved." [1] [...]

Elite Israeli units already operating inside Gaza
TEL AVIV — Israel's military has begun using its special forces for operations in the Gaza Strip.Military sources said the General Staff has ordered the most elite forces to operate deep inside the Gaza Strip in an effort to probe the defenses of the Hamas regime. They said the operations would help determine the final draft of a plan for an invasion of the Gaza Strip and destruction of the Islamic regime."We are in the stage of determining their defenses and destroying vital enemy facilities before any major operation," a military source said. http://tinyurl.com/2x374n

Video: Gaza Massacre
Haitham Sabbah
In less than 24 hours between Feb 27 & 28, 2008, Israel killed 30 Palestinians, 10 of them babies and children
: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=41568

IOF troops kidnap 49 Palestinians most of them children in Beit Hanun
Palestinian Information Center
The IOF troops kidnapped at noon Monday 49 Palestinian citizens most of them children and patients near the Beit Hanun crossing, northern Gaza Strip, after they invaded the area amid gunfire to quell the human chain formed by Gaza children at the pretext that they threw stones at the soldiers. Sources in the popular committee against the siege which supervised the human chain stated that most of the detainees were children living in the area and patients waiting to be allowed to travel abroad for medical treatment. In the West Bank, the IOF troops kidnapped on the same day seven Palestinian citizens, six of them from the same family, during a quick incursion into the Nablus city... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=41495

Israeli troops withdraw from northern Gaza:
"There will be more phases and there is an expected escalation with the possibility of a full invasion of the Gaza Strip," CTV's Middle East Bureau Chief Janis Mackey Frayer reported Monday. http://tinyurl.com/2fhbec

WHAT IS TO BE DONE....

Zionism is the Issue: Building a Strong Pro-Palestinian Movement In the US
By Lana Habash and Noah Cohen
http://www.onepalestine.org/resources/articles/Zionism_Is_Issue.html

“...[We are losing the media war,”] said Colonel Daniel Reisner, head of the international law branch of the IDF Legal Division, in an interview in the Fall 2002 Harvard Israel Review. “...It takes a long time to explain Israeli settlements to the uninitiated...”
This is why Zionist critics of Israel have become so crucial in the effort to maintain support for the colonial regime.
In fact, Israel would have definitively lost the propaganda war a long time ago if the matter had been left entirely to its right-wing supporters within the US and Israeli political establishments.... the primary work of ensuring that no serious opposition emerges within the US against an untenable apartheid regime is performed by these self-appointed “pro-Palestinians,” who criticize Israel’ s most extreme actions while simultaneously asserting its “right to exist,” and— more importantly— denying any action to Palestinians that effectively exacts a significant cost upon Israel....
In general, the most important function of the Zionist pro-Palestinians is to enforce two boundaries in the discourse:

1) the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state; 2) the illegitimacy of violence against Israelis.

These two positions form a litmus test for inclusion in the forums of the “peace movement.” One is regularly asked to demonstrate a commitment to these two points before one is allowed to give a speech at a rally or a talk in an educational community event.

To talk about the inherent racism evident in Israel’ s foundation and formation (which necessarily brings into question its international legitimacy) or the necessity and legitimacy of an armed anti-colonialist Palestinian resistance goes outside the bounds of this discourse. When these boundaries are broken, the limits are reinforced through a series of accusations ranging from “anti-Semitism,” on the one hand, to “ideological purism,” “sectarianism,” and “divisiveness,” or, at best, being “impractical” or “not strategic” on the other. The first of these accusations tends to be made by ideologically committed Zionists; the last, by well-intentioned people who consider themselves representatives of the “tactical left,” persuaded that they must maintain an alliance with left-Zionists for the sake of credibility or other strategic gains. In this case, the left-Zionist position maintains its dominance precisely through such an alliance: without the tacit support of non-Zionists or anti-Zionists (in some cases cowed by the threat of the accusation of anti-Semitism, in some cases kept in line by an argument about the limits of “realism”) this dominance would be broken by those who reject Zionism as a form of racism.[...]

Divide and Conquer: The Politics of Palestinian Human Rights
by Lana Habash
August 9, 2005
http://www.onepalestine.org/index.html
http://www.onepalestine.org/resources/articles/Divide_And_Conquer.html

...The indigenous people of historic Palestine are Palestinian whether they are refugees of 1948, 1967, or 2005, and whether they are the “internally displaced” Palestinians living within the Green Line called “Israeli Arabs”, or Bedouin, or the “externally displaced” Palestinians of the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, and Lebanon, or the larger Palestinian diaspora. All of these Palestinians have the right to live freely in their homes in Palestine.

We are left, then, with only one essential human rights question to be answered. This question is capable of reframing the discussion in such a way that actually advances the cause of Palestinian human rights: Do the rights and protections of international humanitarian law apply to all Palestinians?

The bulk of human rights discourse has focused on applying humanitarian law to Israeli government policy in the West Bank and Gaza and has focused human rights advocacy on Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. Historically it has been shown over and over again that genocide begins with separation of the indigenous people. Once the work of separation has been accomplished, the work of the colonial power — whether it be in the Americas, South Africa, or Israel — is to split the indigenous population into subgroups to further the project of colonization. This is done through a variety of different methods, including all of the following: empowering a minority sector of the indigenous population to police its own people (as in the case of the Palestinian Druze); establishing racist Jim Crow laws which grant some “rights” to Palestinians within the Green Line while simultaneously assuring that these rights never challenge the fundamental racist privilege of Jews over non-Jews; negotiating “peace” treaties at gunpoint where chosen Palestinian representatives on the other side of the Green Line sign away rights and land while seemingly assuring (but not really) a limitation on the genocidal conditions imposed by the colonial power; and imposing collective punishment to isolate Palestinians who resist colonial occupation from larger communities of Palestinian support.

In accepting these divisions, the American human rights framework as it has been applied to Palestinians has not only failed to stop human rights violations, but has facilitated the colonization and genocide of Palestinian people. It has done this by accepting the validity of the Jewish state and by giving only limited and conditional support to certain human rights for certain Palestinians living in certain areas at certain times.

The American human rights framework as it currently functions in Palestine has become a tool used by Israel and its proponents to legitimize colonial land theft and genocide rather than oppose it. True human rights advocacy that supports the rights of the indigenous people of Palestine must start by acknowledging the rights of all Palestinians, whether they are from 1948 Jaffa, 1967 Nablus, or the Naqab or Jayyus of 2005. It means necessarily that we must discuss Zionism from its origins in Europe in the 1880’s to its present manifestations in Palestine. We must reject the idea that colonialism, genocide, Apartheid, or any form of racism is ever justifiable or defensible. We must also reject the idea that colonial governments like the US or Israel will ever negotiate against their own interests. These are the first steps in creating true international solidarity that supports the Palestinian people’s legitimate resistance against ongoing colonization, occupation, Apartheid, and genocide in all of historic Palestine....

Zionism is a European colonialist ideology and political process of creating and maintaining a Jewish majority in Palestine, granting rights and privileges to Jewish people that supersede any rights of the indigenous people of Palestine. In Zionism, the process of “Judaizing” or “redeeming” the land (expropriating the land of indigenous Palestinians and using it for exclusively Jewish use) is used as justification for all policies, no matter how repressive, both preceding and following 1967.

This demographic war waged on the Palestinian people meets the definitions of both the crime of Apartheid and the crime of genocide as defined in international law. Recognition of these crimes is startlingly absent from most mainstream discussions of Palestinian human rights in America. Utilizing the framework of Zionism, “Palestine/Israel” peace groups maintain that Israeli rights to Palestinian land and resources (justified through racism and taken by military force) and Palestinian rights to their own resources and land (defined as specifically the West Bank and Gaza and not the rest of historic Palestine) are somehow equal.
In this framework, rights for Palestinians, like the right of return and the right to resist occupation, become debatable and negotiable because they threaten the existence of the Jewish state. This resembles the argument by the slave owner that freeing slaves might cause the economic collapse of the plantation. In both cases, a fundamental injustice becomes the justification for further injustice. [...]

When Peace Activism Becomes Collusion With Colonial Occupation
By Marta Rodríguez
http://www.onepalestine.org/resources/articles/When_Peace_Activism_Becom...
...If American peace activists are at all interested in making their work relevant to people fighting colonial occupation, they might want to take a page from Ms. Ruth Reynolds, a U.S. pacifist who worked in Puerto Rico, when the Nationalist Party was leading our struggle for independence. Ms. Reynolds worked closely with the Nationalist Party. Though, as a pacifist, she chose not to partake of the party's efforts to organize insurrection against the United States, she did not treat the Puerto Rican people to the disrespect and colonial arrogance of attempting to dictate our methods of struggle. Her work to end violence in Puerto Rico was directed to the ones responsible for it -- the U.S. government who entered our country at gunpoint, and continues to repress our people in order to secure their stay there... Any support work which requires that colonized people wait till their aggressors are good and ready to stop their violence, or that they settle for anything less than full restitution of the lands and resources that have been stolen from them, is no support work at all. It's betrayal and collusion with colonial aggression, which is no less harmful than the bullets and bombs employed to force the subjugation of the colonized.

Lies Of The Israeli Peace Movement
By Richard Hugus
http://www.onepalestine.org/resources/articles/Lies_of_the_Israeli_Peace...
... It is time to respond to the pacifist progressive in particular who collaborates with the oppressor by equating and condemning all violence. The language of resistance must be clearly spoken: It is right for Palestinians to resist the occupation, not just the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, but of all of Palestine, by whatever means possible. It is right for the Iraqi resistance to resist the similar vicious US occupation of Iraq. It was right for the Sioux to resist, it was right for the African slave to resist, it was right for the Vietnamese to resist. In no way can the minor losses of the oppressor be equated with or compensate for the original crime of his aggression. It is time for progressives in the US to openly and clearly support resistance to the monster that the US has become, and the proxies it supports, like Israel, and increasingly this means rejecting the false language of the pacifist. The conflict in Palestine is not morally ambiguous. It is not a battle between two sides who are equally guilty. Zionists attacked, Palestinians defended. There is a right and a wrong.[...]

Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act.
Albert Einstein

The limitation of tyrants is the endurance of those they oppose.
Frederick Douglass

The Politics of Anti-Semitism: Zionism, the Bund and Jewish Identity Politics
Gilad Atzmon
peacepalestine.blogspot.com/2007/11/gilad-atzmon-politics-of-anti-semitism.html

210px-jb_recruitment_poster_salvation_and_vengeance.gif
(illustration: Zionist recruitment poster "Salvation and Vengeance!")
November 28, 2007

Those amongst us who support the Palestinian people, those amongst us who are devastated by the growing scale of Israeli atrocities, those who want to bring justice to Palestine and this includes bringing Palestinians back to their land, will have to make up their minds sooner or later. From now on, everything we do or say about the Jewish state is seen by one Jew or another as anti-Semitism. We have to make up our minds and decide once and for all, is it world Jewry which we are trying to appease, or is it the Palestinians we are fighting for? I made up my mind. For me it is Palestine and the Palestinian people....

The Diaspora Jews at large identify with Israel, some are hardcore Zionists, others just borrow light folkloric and even meaningless verbal manifestations. However as it stands, every Jewish Simchas (Bar Mitzvah, Wedding etc’) is now a celebration of Israeli Hebraic folklore. To a certain extent, due to the extremely deep penetration of Israeli folklore and the new Hebraic culture, every Bar Mitzvah and Jewish wedding asserts a symbolic identification of the Jewish state. Every Jewish festive occasion can be seen as a mini Zionist rally....any criticism of Israel is realised by the Diaspora Jew as an assault against the legitimacy of any possible Jewish identity...

Those amongst us who support the Palestinian people, those amongst us who are devastated by the growing scale of Israeli atrocities, those who want to bring justice to Palestine and this includes bringing Palestinians back to their land, will have to make up their minds sooner or later. From now on, everything we do or say about the Jewish state is seen by one Jew or another as anti-Semitism. We have to make up our minds and decide once and for all, is it world Jewry which we are trying to appease, or is it the Palestinians we are fighting for? I myself made up my mind a long time ago. For me it is Palestine and the Palestinian people.

If "honest, sincerely pro-Palestinian non-religious 'Jews' who know Israel has
no right to exist" cannot yet get beyond the limitations of
their own reasoning process, then such individuals need to
cease their theorisings. They must take decisions about
their own practical stands. Only taking action can resolve
doubts and-or confusion. Whatever the specifics of the
stands that are taken, the stands themselves must either
materially assist Palestinian struggles against the
Zionist junta, or assist others' struggles against it and its U.S. imperialist core.
But this means making no concession for any "right" of the State of Israel to
continue to exist, today or for the future.

About this notion of so-called Jewish cultural identity, is
there any that is anti-Zionist? Noam Chomsky writes about
his own participation in the Hashomer Hatzair youth
movement which was broadly labour-Zionist/'socialist'...
but to this day he has never acknowledged that it may have
played an ongoing role in brainwashing him and its other
young and impressionable charges with a notion of Palestine
without Palestinians!

This raises a big problem for these largely secular or otherwise non-religious elements clutching onto something they call "Jewish cultural identity" but that even they cannot define. [Chomsky, by the way, is honest enought to call himself a 'cultural Zionist', yet still sufficiently brainwashed to blather about opposing political Zionism in order to salvage what is allegedly good fro Humanity in this so-called 'cultural Zionism'.]

The main obstacle these "honest, sincerely pro-Palestinian non-religious 'Jews' who know Israel has no right to exist" encounter in trying to arrive at a definition of Jewish cultural identity is their discomfort with having to grant the Jewish religion any room in that definition.

There's a good deal in traditional Jewish religion about
which to be healthily ashamed. Not least are the particular
bits of the mediaeval canon that the Religion Ministry of
the Israeli government authorises as official Judaism.
Israel Shahak's "Jewish History, Jewish Religion" fully
documents all the embarrassments. For example, one of the
sages the Israeli religious authorities uphold disagreed
that the world could have been circumnavigated, writing in
1804 that "The idea of America is impossible".

But there may be another reason these intrepid hunters and gatherers of an otherwise indefinable, ineffable, pro-Humanity Jewish cultural tradition are so hung up about permitting Jewish religion to be part of their definition of cultural Jewish-ness...

Consider the very rich example of Neturei Karta (NK).
NK says Zionism is racism not only because ideologically
Zionism *is* racism, but also and in fact mainly because ˜
politically speaking ˜ the 'Jewish State' is an
illegitimate usurpation of Palestinians' land. Others
report NK giving this position arising from their religious
interpretation of ancient Jewish law and scripture. Facts
are stubborn, however, and in the case of the NK they are
more than clear. The NK do *not* advance their religious
interpretation as the main or only reason for rejecting and
opposing the Z-state. They say: an honest religious Jew
needing a justification for his/her own conscience to
justify opposing the Z-state should indeed take note of and
be guided by those religious grounds. But everyone else can
and should recognise that *at no time* in the two millennia
that passed between the Romans' dispersal of the various
Hebrew tribes roaming Palestine until 1947 was there ANY
justification to "restore" a "Jewish state" of any kind in
that territory. In other words: opposition to the very
existence of a so-called "Jewish state" on Palestinian land
is a foundation stone of NK's idea of cultural Jewish-ness.
How very conventient to dismiss them as "religious nutbars"...

Yet another reason that these intrepid hunters and gatherers
of an otherwise indefinable, ineffable, pro-Humanity Jewish
cultural tradition are in such a pickle is that, within the
Eurocentric world view that dominates the discourse on this
subject, what is Jewish has been defined negatively, i.e.,
by establishing what it *is not*, rather than by affirming
whatever it actually *is*.

One important corollary of the analysis given in my article
on Zionist theories of nationality is that, if Jewish
people-hood is in fact not a fact at all, you can never
hope to define it by affirming what it is. it follows that,
indeed, you can only assert what it is not. Of course, the
moment one talks about definiing something entirely by what
it is not, we are lost. This is just another way of
defining something entirely according to my subjective view
at the moment, or the view of all those who momentarily
share my position within some spectrum or interval of a
spectrum. Where ˜ and only where ˜ the peoplehood of the
European Jew exists or has existed objectively, e.g., as
Ashkenazi kinship groups in the European Pale of Tsarist
Russia, very definite features could be asserted describing
the phenomenon precisely. This phenomenon itself has turned
out to have been an historically temporary which itself no
longer exists.

To speak of the category "Jewish people" in any other way,
however, is dangerous mischief as well as nonsense. The
Zionist discourse equates all Jews anywhere as "Jews"
eligible for automatic citizenship in their "Jewish State".
With the exception of the mass emigration to Israel from
the Soviet Union as it was collapsing, however,
Jews-in-general have kept their distance from the place. So
the Zionists have 'modernised' their discourse as a brutal
military occupier ready to accommodate any such
in-migrating Jew with heavily government-subsidized housing
erected on stolen Palestinian land by increasingly muddying
matters while insistently suggesting some undefined linkage
between "Jewish"-ness, Judaism the religion and some
so-called Holy Land as birthright...

So, what is(are) the linkage(s), if any, between
"Jewish"-ness, Judaism the religion and some so-called Holy
Land as birthright?

Western liberal thought / ideological outlook stemming from
the French Revolution called for a new human personality
freed to act politically in his/her own interest. In order
to make its factories profitable, the bourgeoisie raising
this banner needed a big class of 'free' working poor with
nothing left to sell but their labouring power. That same
bourgeoisie also needed the international banking system of
the day to handle and facilitate the unprecedented trading
volumes in mass-produced commodities. This system had been
built and maintained since the Middle Ages by the
wealthiest Jews, according to a Christian religious
proscription against usury. But the ultimate conclusion of
the French Revoilutionary logic that decreed individuals
were now freed politically to act in their own interests
was... their religious identification ceased to define
their social standing and became purely a matter of private
conscience.

As Balzac's novels brilliantly document, this same
bourgeoisie could not exist even for one moment without
maintaining as well the special standing of the Jewish
banker as the officially-permitted usurer and middleman in
international transactions. So the European industrial
order which fattened itself on desocialising Christian
religious identity could not permit the desocialisation of
Jewish religious identity for a single moment. Thus in the
19th century the Rothschild banking empire and its
satellites financed first the British, and then later the
French and German, industrial expansions to the point of
market saturation expressed in the Panic of 1873. Then it
moved on to perform the same acts in the Russian empire
until the Bolshevik Revolution. In the process the entire
bourgeoisie of Europe became highly skilled at portraying
the Jew categorically as the interloper that undermines
ther livelihood of the industrial worker.

CONCLUSION: without this entire line of development, the
Zionists could never have manipulated the residual guilt in
various quarters about the eventual European judeocide. It
was in this guilt-trip that the Zionists and their enablers
laid the most lasting foundation for the key disinformation
that they have been able to sustain to this day. That
disinformation takes the form of denying and dismissing the
truth about the Zionist state's origins and ascribing those
origins instead to some historic mission of something
labelled the Jewish people.[1] So... "Jewish cultural
legacy" and feelings or not, THERE CAN BE NO LINKAGE
BETWEEN "Jewish"-ness, Judaism the religion and some
so-called Holy Land as birthright. I think this is the key
thing to stress with these individuals, as you cannot hope
to persuade someone desperate to pursue their "Jewish
cultural identity" that it's a chimaera.
Note
1. The real origins of the Zionist state and the context of
its emergence were set in the early days of the Cold War.
The Anglo-American bloc cooked up the Zionist state as part
of the western alliance against the Soviet bloc. First and
foremost, it was their specially-designed instrument for
facilitating the looting the Arabs' oil. The
Anglo-Americans furnished it with sufficient arsenals of
weapons and intelligence-gathering to be able to paralyse
any possibility of national liberation struggles developing
or succeeding anywhere in the Arab and Islamic countries.
After the Suez disaster, in exchange for Tel-Aviv pulling
its troops out of the Sinai and distancing itself from the
Anglo-French colonial cabal that plotted the Suez caper,
the Americans unilaterally empowered the Zionists with the
means to monitor and menace the further development of
Soviet-Arab relations.

Gazan Holocaust
By Jennifer Loewenstein
The sanctimonious demand that the Qassams must be stopped is a deliberate lie intended to make you forget that the Qassams provide a near fool-proof pretext for grabbing more of Gaza and setting more of it to ruin; and that the Qassams are the result of systematic national torture and evisceration, borne themselves of occupation, caused by it, improved upon by periods of siege, sadism and mass killing...The shame is ours, for Israel and its US Master have long since resided in the lowest circle of Hell for betraying the name of humanity. http://www.counterpunch.org/loewenstein03042008.html

Jennifer Loewenstein is the Associate Director of the Middle East Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a member of the board of the Israeli Coalition against House Demolitions-USA branch, founder of the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project and a freelance journalist. She can be reached at: amadea311@earthlink.net

Optimistic About Palestine: The end of Israel?
Hannah Mermelstein,
The Electronic Intifada, 19 December 2007
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/printer9169.shtml
...So why am I optimistic? Why do I think Olmert will fail, if not in the short term, at least in the long term? There are many signs.
The first and most important is that Palestinian people are holding on. Sometimes by a thread, but holding on nonetheless. Despite the hope of many in Israel, Palestinians will not disappear....In the US, I have been traveling around speaking to groups about Palestine, and they get it. Even those whose prior information has come only from US mainstream media, when they hear what is actually happening, they get it. When we explain the difference between being Jewish (a religion or ethnicity), Israeli (a citizenship), and Zionist (an ideology), people understand...

For years the true meaning of political Zionism has been as ignored as its effects on Palestinian daily life. And suddenly it is beginning to break open. Olmert's comments last week are reminiscent of those of early Zionist leaders who talked openly of transfer and ethnic cleansing in order to create an artificial Jewish majority in historic Palestine.

"We must expel the Arabs and take their places and if we have to use force to guarantee our own right to settle in those places -- then we have force at our disposal." David Ben-Gurion, Israel's "founding father" and first prime minister, 1937

So this idea of a "two-state solution" a la Olmert -- which I would argue provides neither a "state" nor a "solution" for the Palestinian people -- is the new transfer. It is no longer popular in the world to openly discuss expulsion (though there are political parties in Israel that advocate this), but Olmert hopes that by creating a Palestinian "state" on a tiny portion of historic Palestine, he can accomplish the same goal: maintaining an ethno-religious state exclusively for the Jewish people in most of historic Palestine. His plan, as all other plans Israeli leaders have tried to "negotiate," ignores the basic rights of the two-thirds of the Palestinian population who are refugees. They, like all other refugees in the world, have the internationally recognized right to return to their lands and receive compensation for loss and damages. This should not be up for negotiation.

So why am I optimistic? Why do I think Olmert will fail, if not in the short term, at least in the long term? There are many signs.

The first and most important is that Palestinian people are holding on. Sometimes by a thread, but holding on nonetheless. Despite the hope of many in Israel, Palestinians will not disappear....In the US, I have been traveling around speaking to groups about Palestine, and they get it. Even those whose prior information has come only from US mainstream media, when they hear what is actually happening, they get it. When we explain the difference between being Jewish (a religion or ethnicity), Israeli (a citizenship), and Zionist (an ideology), people understand.

"Does Israel have a right to exist?" people ask. What does that mean? Do countries really have rights, or do people have rights? The Jewish people have a right to exist, the Israeli people have a right to exist, but what does "Israel" mean? Israel defines itself as the state of the Jewish people. It is not a state of its citizens. It is a state of many people who are not its citizens, like myself, and is not the state of many people who are its citizens, like the 20 percent of its population that is Palestinian. So if we ask a Palestinian person, "Do you recognize the right for there to be a country on your historic homeland that explicitly excludes you?" what kind of response should we expect?
... we outside of Palestine need to do our part. Especially those of us who live in the US that gives Israel more than $10 million every single day, must take responsibility for the atrocities committed in our name and with our money....

The Zionist Plan for the Middle East
http://theunjustmedia.com/the%20zionist_plan_for_the_middle_east.htm
Translated and edited by
Israel Shahak
The Israel of Theodore Herzl (1904)
and of Rabbi Fischmann (1947)

In his Complete Diaries, Vol. II. p. 711, Theodore Herzl, the founder of Zionism, says that the area of the Jewish State stretches: "From the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates."
Rabbi Fischmann, member of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared in his testimony to the U.N. Special Committee of Enquiry on 9 July 1947: "The Promised Land extends from the River of Egypt up to the Euphrates, it includes parts of Syria and Lebanon."
from Oded Yinon's "A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties"
Pub. by theAssociation of Arab-American University Graduates, Inc. [...]

NO "PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE" between PALESTINIAN NATIONAL LIBERATION & SELF-DETERMINATION & the RACIST, U.S. PROXY ISRAELI STATE is POSSIBLE:

Issues are: [1] the nature of the imperialist -created racist settler 'jewish state' on Palestinian land [2] the marriage of convenience between the u.s. & israeli agendas: the geostrategic necessity of Israel in the U.S. global agenda to crush Arab nations/nationalism & control ME oil/energy-- which is THE lynchpin for u.s. world domination agenda that dovetails with the zionist state's "greater/eretz israel" agenda.

...Regardless of anything else they may also believe about how unjustly Palestinians are being treated by the occupation, Zionists believe they have to have a "Jewish state". The Americans agree. Even though it is actually not helpful for the long-term future of a tubercle bacillus to take over a host zone of the human body like the lung --- because this takeover entails destroying the lung function which created the conditions that made it such an accommodating host for this bacillus in the first place --- this does not deter the spread of the tuberculosis.

Regardless of the proclaimed intentions of the State of Israel since its founding or the horrors of the European Judeocide preceding its founding, the State of Israel was created out of the Nakba of 1947-48 as a racist, so-called "Jewish" state that continues to justify official apartheid-like discrimination against Palestinians in all areas of civil society on the basis of a Jewish preference. It justifies the fascist activities of its military caste in the name of "security" for this "Jewish" state. The State of Israel is not some "western democracy" with a few bad apples. That is a "Made in USA" illusion... the Zionist military junta that inherited General "Anastasio" Ben-Gurion's genocidal ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, instructed equally from Washington, runs the show in Tel Aviv behind western-democratic-looking signboards and structures --- complete with settlers stealing whatever remains of Palestinians' land in order to drive them out. Those interested in peace with justice should indeed learn about the Zionist Junta and act on Lebanon and Gaza by escalating efforts to further rip and shred these masks and expose the true face of this oppressor.
The common ground that the U.S. and the State of Israel stood on since 1947 to date was that the Arab world must be kept split enough so that resistance to US plans for the oil riches could not be seriously disrupted. The point about partition was that, with or without the Zionist military forces driving Palestinians out of their homes and land, it converted the Palestinians from a people attached to a territory into a collection of villages, families etc. no longer connected to a single contiguous territory. In other words: it denationalised the Palestinians before they could even acquire their own state. [...]

"What Does Being Jewish Mean?"
MYTH OF A 'JEWISH PEOPLE' or 'NATION': a response from Gary Zatzman, historian & activist to digest's question on a personal level
What is Jewishness? What is Zionism?
7/17/6 Digest http://www.pwgd.com/blog/lb/ < http://www.pwgd.com/blog/lb/7176-the-target-is-resistance-war-in-the-me-who-the-p-word-what-does-being-jewish-mean/>

Question: Since jews are not 'a people', have no historical basis for nationhood nation, the only bond being an ancient religious one, what does it mean to refer to the ‘jews’ or ‘the jewish people’ or ‘nation’? What historical material basis and political implications does this term of ethnicity have?
On a personal level, do you and your partner refer to your selves as jewish? What does that mean?
People need history past & present to be clear about fact that jewish does not = zionist, and zionist does not = jewish. Please examine this because it is so urgent…maybe more than ever … to understand, contrary to imperialist-zionist propaganda, that jews are not a people or a nation with a ‘historic homeland’ to ‘defend, that this is a zionist political project, that what “Israel’ is doing to the Palestinians is an ugly racist mirror image of what the nazis did. Please send yours and other reliable analyses to publish in my Digest.

GZ's reply:
” ‘Jews’ are not a people,…” –true
” ‘Jews’ have not the historical basis of a nation,” –true

The “only bond being an ancient religious one” - this is trickier. The only *common* bond is that ancient religious one. HOWEVER, even this grouping of religiously-defined “Jews” is itself divided in three.

First, there are the descendants of the tiny portion of ancient Israelite tribes that left the territory of the Roman province of Palestine after the so-called Jewish War of 70 CE, for southern Mediterranean regions of Europe.

[Those they left behind in Palestine became Palestinians, some of them remaining Jewish, but most becoming Muslim after the middle of the 7th century CE. That’s the end of the story of the so-called Jewish “people” in the sense of the ancient Israelite tribes.]

Second, there are the descendants of a larger portion of the ancient Israelite tribes who left the area much earlier, for Iraq and Persia. They remained Jewish only in their religion, eventually becoming Arab or Persian in their culture. Their descendants also moved throughout the Arab world, spanning the entire region between southern Spain,
the north African littoral and the Arabian Peninsula to Syria and Iraq.

Third, and by far the largest, is the group comprised of persons descended from the Khazari people of the southern Caucusus. They were converted to the Jewish religion en masse under the orders of their King at the end of the 800s CE.

This last group never had any ties whatsoever with Palestine. They are the source of the Ashkenazi or central, eastern and northern European “Jews”. They were the main group victimised by western and eastern Christianity as “Christ-killers”. A large branch emigrated to North America and elsewhere beyond Europe during the 19th century, from an even larger group that settled in large numbers in Poland and the western edges of the Tsarist Empire from the 1300s until the Judeocide in WW2, which destroyed the remains of that social fragment.

Within this third grouping, there were other bonds beyond those of religion, as the portion settled in Poland and the western edges of the Tsarist Empire from the 1300s til the Judeocide of WW2 originated an extended kinship grouping over the centuries.

This population represented a significant proportion of the population of urban centres of the Ukraine, Byelorussia & Poland, as well as the contiguous rural territory spanning the common border regions of northern Ukraine, western Byelorussia and southeastern Poland. These Ashkenazim were a proto-people. However, like today’s Kurdish people now split among Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey, there was no way they would be allowed their own state on the territory that they had inhabited for generations.

The Ashkenazim became the main target of the propaganda and mobilisation efforts of a Zionist movement that had set out to exploit the weakness and crumbling of the Ottoman Empire by colonising Palestine for European imperial powers at the end of the 19th century….

My personal view is that it is correct to refer to religious, devout practitioners of Jewish religion as Jews. Interestingly, inside Palestine and outside, the staunchest of these — the “True-Torah” Jews of Neturei Karta are probably the best known — are also the fiercest opponents of the Zionist claim to a so-called Jewish state on land these religious Jews openly describe as stolen and belonging to the Palestinians. The rest — conflating Ashkenazim and the other fragments with “Jews”, etc –has been hijacked in the service of the Zionist discourse. So the issue is not to define who and-or what is or is not “Jewish”. The issue is to expose, and oppose, the Zionists’ hijacking of social-political discourse to whitewash their genocidal crimes in Palestine.

My partner’s national origin is US-ian. Mine is Canadian. Neither of us is a religious believer in Judaism or any other creed, Abrahamic or east-Asian. We can’t do much about the conclusions others may draw from our surnames. However, we can explain, and we do encourage others to take their own stand against, imperial perfidy… and against Zionism as a particularly toxic tool of that perfidy.

for full historical analysis see:
Zionist theory and practice of nationality
By Gary Zatzman
http://noidrocca.tripod.com/whatsup/id3.html

The Notion of the “Jewish State” as an “Apartheid Regime” is a Liberal-Zionist One
by Gary Zatzman
http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Nov05/Zatzman1121.htm
November 21, 2005
The cause of Palestine consists of the restoration of the national rights of
the Palestinian people and enabling the Palestinians to exercise their right
of self-determination in their own territory. Theirs is the territory
illegally mandated to Great Britain by the League of Nations in 1920-21 and
subsequently "partitioned" by the United Nations in 1947 to establish a
so-called "Jewish state" enclave for the Zionist movement. Enabling the
Palestinians to exercise their right of self-determination in their own
territory means implementing the Palestinians' right to return to their
lands and to be restored in the property/properties that were taken from
them in the course of acts of conquest by the Zionist movement, and in clear
cut violation of international law, during 1947-48 and again in June 1967.

Many activists in this highly just cause have been drawing comparisons
between the regimen of bantustans and separate laws imposed on the native
population by the tiny apartheid white-racist minority's regime in South
Africa between 1948 and 1991 and the "legal" regime by which the
Zionists' regulatory authorities at all levels -- up to the
Knesset/legislature and the Cabinet/executive, as well as throughout the
armed forces -- have continued to secure their own presence and dominance by
extending their control over every possible aspect of Palestinians' lives.

Although not identical, the colonialist and racist pedigrees and impacts of
each system of oppression are structurally comparable. However, whereas the
solution in South Africa always turned upon finding some new form of state
in which majority rule would prevail and white-racist privilege be finally
extirpated, the cause of Palestine entails eliminating the Zionist junta's
so-called "Jewish state" of European-American colonialist privilege and
restoring to the Palestinians what the Zionists stole. How does disabling
the racist provisions of the laws and regulations of the State of Israel,
and reforming the "Jewish-only" element to become fully inclusive of the
entire population, bring the Palestinians any closer to restoring what the
Zionists stole?

The questions of justice involved -- of compensation for damages inflicted,
including restitution of what was illegally taken, destroyed or disabled --
are very different in the two cases. For all its serious and undoubted evils
and the numerous crimes against humanity committed in its name, including
physical slaughters, South African white-racist apartheid was not premised
on committing genocide. Zionism, on the other hand, has been committed to
dissolving the social, cultural, political and economic integrity of the
Palestinian people, i.e., genocide, from the outset, at least as early as
Theodor Herzl's injunction in his diaries that the "transfer" of the
Palestinian "penniless population" elsewhere be conducted "discreetly and
circumspectly." The fact that the present day heirs of his outlook practice
this genocidal policy in ongoing slow motion, so to speak, over decades
rather than in one fell swoop, and that their assault on the Palestinians'
identity as a people is not confined to acts of physical extermination, does
not make their practice any the less genocidal.

Strategically speaking, all those compelled to fight for their
self-determination against imperialist oppression must rely on organizing
and waging the struggle of their own people first and foremost. Utilizing
contradictions among their enemies may become tactically highly important at
very specific moments of these struggles. At such moments, the forces waging
the internal struggle may indeed organize their own external front of
support. However, actually to orient one's strategy according to what use
can be made of such contradictions is a waste of time that can even become
fatal for people's movements in our day. The world has already long been
witness to what befell the momentum for national liberation in South Africa
after international finance capital assembled a black-majority successor
regime to white-racist apartheid behind a façade fronted by Nelson Mandela
after 1991. The path to this betrayal was paved in the 1980s by the
excessive focus on the role of international boycotts and other activities
external to South Africa and -- most importantly -- beyond the control of
the forces actually fighting for national liberation (the most effective
were precisely those few actually organized by the fighting forces and their
representatives).

Today, it is increasingly seen how many of those active in the cause of
Palestine who have been eliciting or repeating the comparison of Zionist
rule with white-racist apartheid rule are also advocating boycotts and
similar methods in the name of "strengthening the external front of
solidarity," etc. Professor Ilan Pappe, for example, who has been supporting
some forms of academic boycott of Israeli universities, has bluntly declared
that the reason to pursue the route of building such external pressure is
that the road of building such pressure "peacefully" within Palestine itself
has come to an end! If, however, the road of building such pressure
peacefully within Palestine itself has indeed come to an end, why not just
as reasonably conclude that the time has come to ramp up the struggle for
Palestinians' national liberation by better utilizing illegal alongside all
remaining legal opportunities to advance this struggle? The issue is neither
"peaceful" versus "violent" methods of struggle, nor the form of struggle
organized as external support (divestment, boycotts, etc.), but purely and
simply: what force organizes?

The line of external "support" for the cause of Palestine is liberal Zionism
at its most diabolical: it is liberal Zionism at work plotting to seize control
of the Palestinian movement for national
liberation on one of its most vital points. Organization of external
"support" for the cause of Palestine is a matter for those actually waging
the struggle for national liberation within Palestine to tackle, to give the
direction and designate organizations and individuals to do it.
Interestingly, the comparison of Zionist oppression with white-racist South
African apartheid no longer passes muster with Archbishop Desmond Tutu or
other prominent leaders of the ANC-led struggle against apartheid. The
archbishop explicitly commented that what he was been able to witness and
learn about daily life under Zionist occupation in the West Bank alone is
already many times worse than anything he experienced during apartheid. If
such a determinedly non-revolutionary activist has already seen through the
falsehood of the analogy, the time would seem to have ripened to set this
analogy aside once and for all and remain clear-eyed about, as well as
vigilant against, the liberal Zionists' aim and presence in the cause of
Palestine.
Gary Zatzman is co-editor of Dossier on Palestine. He can be reached at:
noidrocca@yahoo.com.